In 2018, however… we’re actually going to Christmas.
No, really. We are.
That’s Christmas, Florida (as in the United States), in case you were wondering. And it’s not the only place in the USA with such a festive name – or even the only place in the world.
There are other tiny American communities going by the name of Christmas in Arizona, Michigan and Mississippi, as well as a small mountain in New York state called Christmas Knob (stop sniggering at the back there!).
Elsewhere in the world, there are several Christmas Islands, including those in Tasmania and Nova Scotia, and an Australian town by the name of Christmas Hills. Tangentially, during my research for this post, I also discovered that the Aussies also have an insect called the Christmas beetle, although it doesn’t look very festive (it did remind me of this, though)…
The Floridian settlement of Christmas – it’s not really even a town to all intents and purposes – takes its name from Fort Christmas, a wooden stockade fort which was quickly built on the site by US soldiers over the festive period of 1837.
This was a time of conflict between the native Seminole Indians and the colonial settlers, and it was felt by the army that a fort would be necessary to protect and supply the interests of the incomers. However, the position was abandoned less than six months later, and, over time, the settlement gradually began to develop in its place.
This is a place that is mostly famous for having a post office where people can send their seasonal mail to be postmarked ‘Christmas’. Many letters also arrive there addressed to Santa Claus (well, where else would he live?), as you can see in these charming photographs taken in Christmas during the late 1940s.
Christmas’s other claim to fame, however, is a little less seasonal. They also have the world’s largest concrete alligator (it answers to the name of Swampy, apparently), and you can have your photo taken larking about in his mighty jaws should you so wish.
I have one question though. Do they make Santa hats big enough to fit such a magnificent beastie?
And, as usual, here’s the 2018 last posting dates for sending Christmas cards, parcels, letters to Santa, and bottles of gin to me from the five countries who have sent the most readers to Another Kind Of Mind this year: